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Oldest art fair Art Cologne marks 50th anniversary


le mag

Oldest art fair Art Cologne marks 50th anniversary

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The 50th anniversary edition of Art Cologne was a special one, bringing together more than 200 galleries from 24 countries.

Considering each gallery presents an average of 10 artists, that’s a total of more than 2,000 different artists in one place – a great opportunity for buyers according to Art Cologne director Daniel Hug: “Normally, you’d have to travel for months to see so many galleries, and so much art.”

For this anniversary edition, organisers decided to focus on the history of Art Cologne, the oldest art fair in the world. There were sidebar events, a special publication and an exhibition featuring 50 works of art dating back to 1967, the year it was founded.

US artist Richard Jackson made the journey from California to create a site-specific, multi-coloured wall painting over three days.

“It’s always good to show, because a lot of people come, a lot of people see it. This work is only temporary, so when the exhibition is over they tear it down and throw it away,” he said.

The global art market is experiencing a slowdown and many gallery owners in Cologne were reluctant to give sales figures. While a Chagall was the most expensive piece on offer at 5.5 million euros, big wins were rather the exception at this year’s edition, and bargains could be found, like signed photographic works by Joseph Beuys, selling for just a few hundred euros.

As always, Art Cologne offered art to please and art to provoke. As the saying goes – beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The birthday edition presented a significant growth in visitors, with 60,000 art enthusiasts, including numerous top collectors, curators and museum professionals from Germany, Europe, and overseas.

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